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AG Chiri faces Parly grilling

AG Chiri

LEGISLATORS have demanded that Auditor-General (AG) Mildred Chiri be summoned to Parliament to explain why allocated funds in some ministries and government entities for 2021 have not been accounted for.

Chiri recently presented the 2021 appropriation accounts audit report for several ministries in Parliament.

The report covers financial statements on appropriation accounts, finance and revenue statements and fund accounts, highlighting the key audit findings and recommendations.

On a point of national interest in the National Assembly on Thursday, Harare East legislator Tendai Biti (Citizens Coalition for Change) expressed concern over unaccounted votes and demanded an explanation from Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and the AG.

“I am gravely concerned that having looked at the appropriation accounts for 2021, those accounts must be prepared according to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards,” Biti said.

“They must also be prepared according to the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions. If you go to the accounts we received, you will see that there is no appropriation account that is commended on by the auditor in respect of about six key ministries.”

Biti cited the Finance and Economic Development; Lands and Agriculture; Health and Child Care; Higher and Tertiary Education; Women’s Affairs, Small to Medium Enterprises, Home Affairs ministries and the Public Service Commission.

The report exposes serious graft, mismanagement and corporate mis-governance in several parastatals and state entities.

But Biti said legislators needed answers from Chiri.

“The appropriation accounts are the accounts that tell us how much was spent and received. Overall, Mr Speaker Sir, the audit report does not have an overall appropriation of how much was used in 2021,” Biti said.

“Can the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee be directed to summon the Auditor-General so that she can explain before the committee why the 2021 audit report which has been put in our emails does not meet those standards? This is so important given the high levels of corruption in our country at the present moment.”

In response, Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda said: “I would rather go by your last recommendation, that is, the Public Accounts Committee must summon the Auditor-General to find out why those votes have not been accounted for.”

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